Depressed after return to work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-22-2004, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been back at work for almost 3 weeks, after 12 weeks of maternity leave with my first baby. I'm having problems with depression from the separation. I don't understand why it's so hard, because my sweet little guy is really happy at daycare, and I have full confidence in and comfort with the place.

I thought it would get better after a few weeks, but my mood fluctuates from day to day, and this week it's worse. I'm B/F, and after I pump at work, I just feel lethargic, empty, and lonely. Other times, I just want to cry.

Did anyone else go through this? Does it get any better? How did you deal with it?
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#2 of 4 Old 04-22-2004, 12:39 PM
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You're not alone!

I'm having a similar, late-blooming effect right now. I've been at work for 5 1/2 months now. In the beginning it was fine. I thought I'd have more reservations and separation issues, but I didn't. I missed dd during the day, but I wasn't consummed by not having her with me. It was cool because I didn't have to worry about childcare (she stays with her grandma two days/ week and a friend comes to watch her one day), I work part time, and I get some really good benefits. It seemed like things couldn't be better.

Lately, (and I can't really figure out why it's happening now), I too feel somewhat depressed by not being with her. I work about 26 hours/ week, but I commute about an hour each way. I'm thinking that I'm just working myself into exhaustion -- trying to take care of the house, spending energy worrying about what I'm "missing out," and working. It really makes you go through a whole range of emotions!

I don't have much in way of how to improve it. I try to stay focused on why I work and how I can change it to be a more satisfactory situation. For me, I work because we have bills and dh's salary isn't enough to cover all of our current expenses. We're getting all of that together (ie financial counseling), but now I have to be patient while we work on creating the change. I'm also trying to get a couple of home businesses off the ground and established for when our debts are satisfied. Then I can transition to becoming a WAHM and still help with the household expenses.

For me, I have to feel empowered. By working to change my situation, I find that it helps me not feel so blue because I'm working toward a goal. So right now, I just have to focus on that goal and have the confidence that all will be fine. It always is.

Wow, this is longer than I intended! I hope that some of it helps. Just know that you're not the first or last mom to have these feelings.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-22-2004, 12:44 PM
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Oh, a great big for you mama. I've been there. In fact, here's a few more, . You're doing great and it's wonderful that you've found excellent care for your ds. That can really make all the difference. It does get better, trust me, but I think it is always hard at first. I use a lactation room at work to pump and I usually call my dcp when I'm pumping to check in and see how my dd is doing. I like to think it helps with my let down but really it's more for my own reassurance. Have a lot of pictures around, that helps too. I take omega 3 supplements (fish oil) and I found that they really helped with any PPD symptoms I was feeling. Recent studies have backed that up. One more , it will get better, you're doing great mama!

Oh and !

KT : - Smitten mama to J & M : Looking for a local group in SEPA? - See my homepage!
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#4 of 4 Old 04-22-2004, 02:54 PM
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Yup, been there, did that. I had a lot of initial depression when I returned to work from my second dd (a lot earlier than I would have wished), and it seemed to go on longer than with my first. I remember vividly, about a month or two after returning to work, I was feeling stressed, but pretty much like I had it together, and then someone said to me, "Are you okay? You always look so sad these days." That was it...I burst into tears all over the place.

What you are doing is hard--it's very hard. You say you are pumping, and I know for me, that was no picnic either. I was glad to do it, and wouldn't have voluntarily given it up, but a lot of days it was one more thing to schedule in and plan around and be healthy and well-fed and well-rested for, and all that.

I think it will get better, but it may never be easy--does that make any sense? Monday's are still really hard drop-off days for us...last week, my older daughter sat at the breakfast table and asked "Mommy, when will it be another three stay home days?" It seems that two are no longer sufficient for her! I felt like telling her "Not soon enough, sweetheart!"

As Nissa says, try to remember what it is you are working for, and focus on that. And be open to any change that might make the situation better for you, whether it be part time, better hours, whatever.


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